Habitat for Humanity Reflection: Day 1

Unfortunately, my alarm sounded at 6:00 a.m., rather than 7, which I deemed to be a “false alarm.” Anyhow, with an additional hour of rest, we were all ready to initiate our first day of building. Albeit our preconceived notions predicting warm weather in Birmingham, we all froze (at least I did).

After eating a bountiful breakfast of basically every imaginable carbohydrate, we were off to make a difference in the local community. Mr. Gagliardi, Mr. Hischak, Mr. Gambino, Mrs. Rion and other chaperones slit us into two groups. The bus left us off at two different work sites in order to increase productivity.

As I am not quite sure of the other group’s experiences, I enjoyed my day quite thoroughly. I volunteered Olivia Altman (’14), Jordyn Saviet (’14) and Becca Cohen (’15) to work on vinyl siding, which nominally sounded cool. I expected to be constructing something; however, we actually had to take down previously constructed siding due to its crooked nature. As an amateur with a hammer, I had a fair amount of effort to put into this endeavor. With the help of Mr. Hischak (which the iPhone corrects to “his chalk” if anyone is interested), we were able to install the vinyl siding successfully.

To escape the frigid and unforgiving winds, we sought shelter in the home, which warmed us to no avail. The four of us, in addition to Thomas Hudson (’14), Mr. Gagliardi and Mrs. Rion began painting frames and doors in one of the three bedrooms. The walls were painted by another volunteer group prior to our arrival. While we painted the bedroom, other small groups painted side paneling, cut floor tile and put up more siding. Since these tasks took up a considerable amount of time, we left the site soon after that, but we all came together at the end to dig holes in the backyard in order to support the deck.

After a night of Walmart, mafia and Italian cuisine, we began to anticipate another great day ahead.

So far, I have worked cooperatively with the other participants in order to enrich our spring break experience, but more importantly, enrich the lives of others. The houses are planned to be dedicated to the owners on Friday during a ceremony. These families suffered the aftermath of a tornado that occurred last April, and are finally returning to a homely inhabitance. As a team, we are on the way to making two families feel at home since last April, which I find unbelievable. I look forward to continuing our great progress.